21% off everything + FREE shipping when you order any full-sized Amino Z Supps (or 20% off other orders)
Coupon: TB-2024

Ingredient Explained: Horny Goat Weed

Ingredient Explained: Horny Goat Weed

Horny goat weed is one of the few supplements that has stood the test of time. It has been used for thousands of years across a number of continents, before finally becoming a popular option for bodybuilders across the globe.

But what is it, and what does it do?

Step 1: What is it?

Horny Goat Weed (also known as “Epimedium” in a more technical sense) is a flowering plant native to China that was traditionally used to increase libido.  

Legend has it that, thousands of years ago, Chinese herders would notice their goats becoming more sexually active after eating the epimedium growing in the field. As you can imagine, it didn't take long to be a product of human consumption, and the name “horny goat weed” was born.

Step 2: What does it do?

The most discussed bioactive compound in Horny Goat Weed is called “icariin” which acts to increase blood flow throughout the body (as well as various other functions).

Consequently, horny goat weed can accelerate blood flow to the penis, increasing erectile strength. It has even been shown to offer significant benefits to males suffering erectile dysfunction [1].

On top of its ability to improve erectile function, horny goat weed can also impact upon libido There is a large body of evidence demonstrating that taking horny goat weed regularlycan increase libido and sex drive [2]. While most of the research exploring this topic has been conducted in males, there is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that it can do the same for females.

Moving away from the “sexual health” side of things, icariin has also been shown to increase the layering of new bony tissue, while also preventing the breakdown of old bony tissue. As a result, it can contribute to increases in bone density, and may even prevent the onset of osteoporosis in older individuals [3]

Furthermore, there is some evidence indicating that the icariin in horny goat weed can mimic testosterone once it enters the body. As such, there is reason to believe it can help facilitate the  development of new muscle tissue and metabolism of fat [4] -- particularly in individuals with low testosterone.

While this effect has not been explored over any long term training studies, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence supporting its use in this manner.

Lastly, horny goat weed has also been shown to interact with the cells of the brain in a way that can improve mood and emotional wellbeing, while also reducing the signs and symptoms of anxiety [5]. This improvement and emotional wellbeing may help improve training session-quality in the gym, and life-quality out of the gym.

Step 3: How do I take it?

To date there are no clear dosage guidelines for horny goat weed. However, based upon previous research, we can identify some recommendations.

Some research has indicated that a higher dosage of ~13 milligrams of icariin per kilogram of body weight per day will promote the testosterone-like effects of horny goat weed. As most supplements contain about 20% icariin, this means a horny goat weed dosage of:

  • 4500mg per day for a 70kg human
  • 6000mg per day for a 90kg human
  • 7500mg per day for 110kg human

Conversely, some research [3] has shown a positive effect using doses as low as 300mg per day (60mg of icariin) -- suggesting that a lower dose might be a suitable starting point for most individuals.

With that in mind, we would suggest starting around 300-500mg per day, and increasing gradually over time.

Step 4: What are the top products?

As with any supplement, there are a few things you want to look out for when it comes to buying horny goat weed.

Before anything else, you want it to be affordable. This means looking for the best value for money horny goat weed on the market (we suggest looking for those that have minimal branding, as this is normally a great way to save money).

Secondly, you want to be sure it provides a clear overview of its active ingredients. The product should contain a significant amount of horny goat weed per capsule. Additionally, it should not contain any proprietary blends (this is a huge red flag).

Lastly, check the reviews. If other people have had a good experience, then you are more likely to as well.

References

  1. Punyawudhoa, B., et al. "A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study of Cappra® for the treatment of mild or mild to moderate erectile dysfunction in Thai male." African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines 10.2 (2013): 310-315.
  2. Liao, H. J., X. M. Chen, and W. G. Li. "Effect of Epimedium sagittatum on quality of life and cellular immunity in patients of hemodialysis maintenance." Zhongguo Zhong xi yi jie he za zhi Zhongguo Zhongxiyi jiehe zazhi= Chinese journal of integrated traditional and Western medicine 15.4 (1995): 202-204.
  3. Zhang, Ge, Ling Qin, and Yinyu Shi. "Epimedium‐derived phytoestrogen flavonoids exert beneficial effect on preventing bone loss in late postmenopausal women: a 24‐month randomized, double‐blind and placebo‐controlled trial." Journal of bone and mineral research 22.7 (2007): 1072-1079.
  4. Shindel, Alan W., et al. "Erectogenic and neurotrophic effects of icariin, a purified extract of horny goat weed (Epimedium spp.) in vitro and in vivo." The journal of sexual medicine 7.4pt1 (2010): 1518-1528.
  5. Xiao, Heather, Nicholas Wignall, and E. Sherwood Brown. "An open-label pilot study of icariin for co-morbid bipolar and alcohol use disorder." The American journal of drug and alcohol abuse 42.2 (2016): 162-167.
GIVE $10 GET $10More info